Talking Hawk, a Mohawk Indian who asked to be identified by his Indian name, pointed to the river's tea-colored water as proof that the overwhelming amount of pollution humans have produced has caused changes around the globe.
"It's August color. It's not normal," he said.
"Earth Mother is fighting back - not only from the four winds, but also from underneath," he said. "Scientists call it global warming. We call it Earth Mother getting angry."
Now, I'm sure Talking Hawk's work has been peer reviewed but I swear I learned somewhere that there was one wind and that it was one of the four elements along with earth, fire, and water. I should have paid more attention in science class.
Meanwhile, not to be outdone, Sheryl Crow or Talking Hot Chick Rocker as I prefer to call her is busy displaying her expertise on climatology:
"Mother Earth is a living organism and when she gets sick we get sick," Crow told a crowd at Southern Methodist University in Dallas during her kick-off performance Monday.
Maybe Earth Mother is sick because she had to listen to another extended jam version of "All I Wanna Do" at her concert. But seriously, it looks like Talking Hawk and Talking Hot Chick Rocker have been studying hard. And critics says Americans are falling behind in science...
Well, if you think this is not serious think again.
At a United Nations meeting last month, several American Indian leaders spoke at a session called "Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Change." Also in May, tribal representatives from Alaska and northern Canada - where pack ice has vanished earlier and earlier each spring - traveled to Washington to press their case.
Atter reading a collection of writings by North American Indians (and no they were not guides to playing Blackjack) Lincoln's town manager Ted Sutton opines:
"American Natives have been telling us all along that this was going to happen to the earth," Sutton said. "They were telling us hundreds of years ago that what we were doing (to the environment) would come back and haunt us. They have been proven right. But hopefully we've started to listen to them and move back to some better management of our lives."They have been proven right? About what? Are we being "haunted"? (I don't think I'm being haunted, and despite Crow's claims - I do not feel sick.)
Meanwhile, because of industrial civilization there are more people on earth living longer, happier lives than ever before. In fact, we have created so much wealth we can afford to pay people to conduct meetings called "Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Change" held at a giant building complex in the middle of the greatest testament to human ingenuity and man's usage of nature: New York City.
So, what is the criteria that Sutton and others use when they make these claims? Are they measuring relative to human life expectancy? Are they measuring relative to the quality of human life absent pestilence, poverty, and the daily grind of subsisting in merciless nature? Should we trade life expectancy and standard of living all in order to avoid "August color"?
I can only thank the Four Winds that we did not listen to them then and can only hope we do not go back to living in tepees, hunting buffalo and the vagaries of tribal warfare. I would have no time to blog.